Privacy rights and accountability
PIPEDA defines "personal information" broadly as any information about an identifiable individual. Generally speaking, personal information does not include "business contact information" such as the name, job title, business address, or business telephone number of an employee of an organization.
FR obtains your consent before it collects, uses, or discloses your personal information. Normally, FR asks for your consent in writing, but in some circumstances, it may accept your oral consent. Sometimes, your consent may be implied through your conduct with FR.
There may be circumstances where you have provided personal information for an identified purpose, and FR later needs to use that information for a different purpose. In such circumstances, FR will seek your consent to use the information for the new purpose.
Why FR collects, uses and discloses your personal information
FR collects, uses and discloses personal information for the purposes identified at the time of collection, or as otherwise permitted or required by applicable law, including for the following purposes:
- to conduct conflicts searches (in order to determine whether it can act for you);
- to provide legal services, including more specifically:
- sharing personal information with third parties for the purpose of providing legal services in the context of legal proceedings, including conducting litigation, arbitrations, mediations or other proceedings. Such third parties may include: opposing parties; parties in interest; opposing, foreign and other counsel; and advisors, witnesses, courts, adjudicators, arbitrators and other decision-makers;
- representing clients in the context of business transactions involving the exchange or disclosure of personal information, including by purchase, sale, lease, merger, amalgamation, arrangement or any other type of acquisition, disposition, public offering, securitization, investment, financing or other transaction;
- to comply with its legal and professional obligations, including the rules regarding client identification and verification;
- to assess client eligibility for credit;
- to manage its business and maintain commercial relationships with clients, suppliers and other third parties including, administering accounts, issuing invoices, collecting and processing payments, evaluating credit standing, fulfilling contractual obligations and auditing operations;
- to evaluate client satisfaction and conduct market research;
- to maintain and develop its systems and databases for managing documents, precedents and knowledge;
- to detect and protect against error, negligence, breach of contract, fraud, theft and any other illegal activity, and where necessary to meet its insurance requirements;
- to send you information about FR's services and about developments in the law, to invite you to FR events and to communicate with you generally;
- as permitted by, and to comply with, applicable legal or regulatory requirements; and
- to further any other purpose for which it has your consent.
FR collects personal information such as your name, address, telephone number, billing and account information and any information that is necessary and related to its provision of legal services to you. This could range from contract documents to information about your business practices to information about your family members who are beneficiaries under your will.
FR may also ask for and collect personal information at certain points throughout the Website. Depending on the information and/or services you request, you may be asked to provide your name, email address and other information. In addition to the information you knowingly provide, FR collects the domain names and IP addresses of its visitors, along with usage statistics (e.g., types of web browsers and operating systems used) and browsing history. This data is used to more efficiently operate FR’s business, promote our services and administer the Website. As well, FR collects any information you may choose to provide in your communications with it. Please do not send FR any confidential information until it has confirmed in writing that it represents or acts for you. Unsolicited emails from non-clients do not establish a lawyer-client relationship, may not be privileged, and may be disclosed to others. FR does not collect personal information about your online activities over time and across third party websites or online services. Some of FR's third party service providers may collect personal information about your online activities over time and across third party websites or online services through your use of the Website.
How FR collects, uses and discloses your personal information
FR collects personal information by fair and lawful means and, wherever appropriate, directly from you. Wherever possible, FR limits the amount of personal information it collects, uses or discloses to that necessary and appropriate to provide its legal services, advice and representation and to operate FR's business. FR limits the personal information it collects and uses for client relationship and development purposes and for FR's publication and seminar programs to contact information and information about preferences provided by the individual.
To help FR make credit decisions about clients, prevent fraud, check the identity of new clients and prevent money-laundering, it may, on occasion, request information about you from the files of consumer reporting agencies.
When FR discloses your personal information
- when disclosure to third parties assists it in providing you the legal services that you have requested, including engaging expert witnesses, retaining other law firms at your request and providing information to lenders in real estate mortgage transactions;
- when necessary to collect outstanding accounts or to assess eligibility for credit;
- when necessary to comply with court orders, regulatory rules, or to satisfy FR's insurance requirements;
- in connection with a business transaction involving FR; and
- when FR reasonably believes that a third party requesting your personal information is your agent.
Please note that there are circumstances where the use and/or disclosure of personal information may be justified or permitted or where FR may or must disclose information without your consent, in accordance with applicable law. For example, FR may disclose your personal information to a government institution that has asserted its lawful authority to obtain the information or where FR has reasonable grounds to believe the information could be useful in the investigation of unlawful activity, or to comply with a subpoena or warrant or an order made by a court, person or body with jurisdiction to compel the production of information, or to comply with court rules regarding the production of records and information, or to protect FR's rights and property. Where obliged or permitted to disclose information without consent, FR will not disclose more information than is required for the purpose that obligates or permits it to disclose such information.
Disclosure of your personal information to third party service providers
When FR transfers your personal information to a third party to provide administrative and other services, it uses appropriate measures to ensure that the third party will only use your personal information to perform the services FR has specified. The increasingly global nature of FR's business sometimes requires it to use administrative service providers who may be located in the United States or elsewhere outside of Canada. Accordingly, your personal information may be transferred outside of Canada and if so, it will be subject to the legal requirements of the applicable foreign jurisdictions, including local requirements to disclose information to courts, law enforcement and national security authorities.
To the extent FR enters into arrangements with service providers, agents and contractors to store, handle or process personal information on its behalf, such as for data processing, document storage software support and office services, FR's policy will be to require such parties by contractual or other means to provide comparable privacy protection while the information is processed or handled by them.
Where FR stores your personal information
Your personal information is stored in secured locations and on servers controlled by FR, located either at our offices or at the offices of our service providers. Your personal information may be processed, accessed and/or stored in Canada or another jurisdiction, and will be subject to the laws of that jurisdiction.
Security of your personal information
FR uses the standard safeguards of the legal profession to protect the security of personal information in its possession, including physical, organizational and technological measures. These measures include:
- premises security;
- restricted access to files that contain personal information;
- technological safeguards like security software and firewalls to prevent hacking or unauthorized computer access; and
- internal password and security policies.
However, no method of transmitting or storing information is completely secure. While FR takes appropriate measures to protect your personal information, there is always a risk that it may be lost, intercepted or misused. FR may exchange electronic versions of documents and e-mails with you using commercially available software that may be vulnerable to attack by viruses and other destructive electronic programs. FR cannot guarantee that all communications and documents sent via e-mail will always be received, or that such communications and documents will always be virus free. FR makes no warranty with respect to the integrity of any electronic communications between FR and you or with respect to the security of any such communication and you consent to FR's exchange of electronic communications, including confidential documents, unencrypted.
Email not a secure medium
You should be aware that email is not a secure medium, and you should know this (and plan accordingly) when contacting FR to send personal or confidential information. For instance, you may choose not to send an email and instead contact your FR lawyer by telephone.
Accessing your personal information
You may ask for access to any personal information FR holds about you. Summary information is available on request. More detailed requests which require archive or other retrieval costs may be subject to FR's normal professional and disbursement fees.
Subject to certain exceptions prescribed by law, you will be given reasonable access to your personal information and will be entitled to challenge the accuracy and completeness of that information and, to the extent that you have proven such inaccuracy or incompleteness, have it amended as appropriate. Examples of such exceptions include information that is prohibitively costly to provide, information that contains references to other individuals, information that cannot be disclosed for legal, security or commercial proprietary reasons, and information that is subject to solicitor-client or litigation privilege.
Updating the accuracy of your personal information
Since FR uses your personal information to provide legal services to you, it is important that the information be accurate and up-to-date. If during the course of the retainer any of your information changes, please inform FR so that it can make update its records.
You can help FR maintain the accuracy of your personal information by notifying FR of any changes to your personal information. If FR holds information about you and you advise us that it is not accurate, complete and up-to-date, FR will take reasonable steps to correct it.
Being denied access to your personal information
Your rights to access your personal information are not absolute. FR may deny access when:
- denial of access is required or authorized by law;
- information relates to existing or anticipated legal proceedings against you;
- granting you access would have an unreasonable impact on other people's privacy;
- protecting FR's rights and property; and
- your request is frivolous or vexatious.
If FR denies your request for access to your personal information, or refuses a request to correct information, FR will explain why.
Personal information and Website
Like many other websites, FR's website at www.foglers.com (the "Website") may automatically collect certain non-identifiable information regarding Website users, such as the Internet Protocol ("IP") address of your computer, the IP address of your Internet Service Provider, the date and time you access the Website, the Internet address of the Website from which you linked directly to the Website, the operating system you are using, the sections of the Website you visit, the Website pages read and images viewed, and the materials you post to or download from the Website. This non-identifiable information is used for Website and system administration purposes and to improve the Website. Your non-identifiable information may be disclosed to others and permanently archived for future use.
The Website may use "cookies", a technology that installs information on a Website user's computer to permit the Website to recognize future visits using that computer. Cookies enhance the convenience and use of the Website. The use of cookie technology is common on the Internet, and many Internet browsers are initially set to accept cookies automatically.
Like many other websites, the Website may make use of "per session" and "persistent" cookie technology. Per session cookies track information during an open session and are stored only temporarily in your computer’s memory. Persistent cookies are deposited on a visitor's computer until they expire or until the visitor deletes the cookies. Information from these cookies help FR analyze traffic patterns to the Website, including the total number of visitors, the geographical location of the visitor, and the types of Internet browsers (e.g., Google Chrome or Internet Explorer) and operating systems (e.g., Windows or Macintosh) that the Website's visitors use. FR uses this information to facilitate and enhance your online visits. FR does not cross-reference this information with any type of personal information that is voluntarily offered through the Website.
On the Website, like most other commercial websites, FR may monitor traffic patterns, site usage and related site information. This is done in order to optimise its web service. FR may provide aggregated information to third parties, but these statistics do not include any personal information.
The Website uses Google Analytics to collect information, in an anonymous form, about how visitors use the Website, including the number of visitors to the Website and the pages they have visited. FR uses such information to compile reports and to help it improve the Website. By using the Website, you agree to such use of Google Analytics. Should you wish to opt-out of the use of Google Analytics, please click on the following link: Opt-Out of Google Analytics
The Website may also use third party vendor re-marketing tracking cookies, including the Google AdWords tracking cookie. This means FR may show ads to you across the Internet, specifically on the Google Display Network. FR does not collect personal information through the use of Google's or any other third party remarketing system. Rather, the third party vendors will place cookies on web browsers in order to serve ads based on past visits to the Website. This allows FR to continue to market its services to those who have shown interest in FR.
Serious privacy breach notifications
FR will notify you of any breach of the security safeguards involving your personal information under FR's control if it is reasonable in the circumstances to believe that the breach creates a real risk of significant harm to you (a "Serious Privacy Breach"). This notice will be conspicuous and given to you in the manner prescribed under PIPEDA as soon as feasible after FR determines that such a breach has occurred.
Likewise, FR will report any Serious Privacy Breach to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada in the manner prescribed under PIPEDA as soon as feasible after FR determines that such a breach has occurred.
Individual clients may review any personal information concerning themselves FR has on file in its offices by contacting their FR lawyer or FR's Privacy Officer at the address below. Individuals who are not clients may request access to personal information FR holds about them by written request to:
If you are not satisfied with FR's response, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada can be reached at:
Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
30 Victoria Street, 1st Floor
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 1H3